The harder a furnace has to work, the more wear and tear it has to endure. Furnaces are designed to last a certain amount of time. This time is usually measured in years, but if you have a furnace that runs twice as much as other furnaces out there from year to year, you can expect the furnace to last around half as long. Thus, maintaining and optimizing your furnace's efficiency can help you to save money. Anyone interested in furnace efficiency should use a multi-faceted efficiency improvement strategy.
Start with Your Ducts
Ducts channel air to the various parts of your home. As air flows through these ducts, it puts pressure on the joints and seams. This pressure will eventually cause leaks. On average, a heating system can suffer a 20% drop in efficiency simply due to duct problems. The less efficient your system is, the harder your furnace has to work to keep your home warm. Thus, having your ducts inspected from time to time and making repairs when necessary is an important part of prolonging the life of your furnace.
Move to Your Heating Habits
When you walk in from winter's bone-chiling cold, it can feel quite necessary to crank your furnace up several degrees and camp out over a heater vent until you feel blissfully warm again. The problem is that for every degree you turn up on your thermostat, you cut your furnace efficiency by 1%. Thus, if you can bear to keep your thermostat running at a lower temperature, you can save money on your heating costs.
Do Something about Your Windows
Windows offer little in the way of insulation. Even double-pane windows only have an R-value of around 2. This means that plenty of heat will seep out of your home through your windows, and your furnace will have to work harder than it should to keep your home comfortable. By using window film on your windows, you can reflect heat back into your home and reduce heat loss through your windows.
When it comes to prolonging the life of your furnace, a little bit of prevention can make a big difference. The more you do to improve the energy efficiency in your home, the less your furnace has to work, and the longer you get to wait before you have to face the costs of buying a new furnace or costly furnace repairs. Besides, prolonging the life of your furnace, improving energy efficiency will also help to keep your heating bills lower, so it just makes sense to do all you can to improve the performance of your heating system.